Ted Moore was more than a bit surprised at the news:
“I can’t believe Bon Jovi hasn’t played in that arena in Rochester since 1987,” Moore said on the phone from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The show stars Moore, a Jon Bon Jovi lookalike, as the lead singer of the band whose hits included “Living on a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “I’ll be There for You.”
Blaze of Glory is itself named after a 1990 Bon Jovi hit song.
Moore said he’s not sure he’ll emulate Jon Bon Jovi’s trapeze ride out over the audience from that 1987 Rochester concert. “I don’t know if they’ve got a trapeze set up for us there, but I’d love to do it,” he said.
Moore, a singer/songwriter, was frequently told at his performances that he resembled Jon Bon Jovi in appearance. “I just said, ‘Thank you,'” he said. “I had gone back to university and was teaching school. I’d bring my guitar to school and play and the kids would say ‘You look like Bon Jovi.’ Even on my honeymoon in Mexico, people at the resort were all, ‘Senor Bon Jovi.'”
He thought it was in good fun, until the wave of tribute bands that popped up a decade ago caught his attention. “I was looking for a tribute band I could do,” Moore said, and quickly settled on Bon Jovi.
He recruited a band and started rehearsals. “We spent 10 months doing nothing but watching videos and listening to albums, to do certain things in the show that are reminiscent of a Bon Jovi show,” Moore said.
There are no recorded tracks; the entire concert is done with live music and vocals. “It’s a point of personal pride with me,” Moore said.
“You can’t mess with people’s memories,” he said. “I tell the guys, ‘You can’t mess up the words, you can’t mess up the guitar solo. These people in the audience know every note.'”
The formula has been so successful that Blaze of Glory plays up to 100 shows a year, including week-long cruise ship engagements.
“We get 5-year-olds and 75-year-olds singing along to ‘Living on a Prayer,'” Moore said.
If you go
What: Blaze of Glory, a Bon Jovi tribute band
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Mayo Civic Center auditorium, 30 Civic Center Drive SE, Rochester
Tickets: $25 at the box office, and through Ticketmaster online, by phone at 800-745-3000, and at Rochester Walmart stores.